29 January 2013

Nigeria: Plateau Demolition - We Are Not Being Selective - Task Force

Jos — Plateau State City Task Force Renewal Committee yesterday denounced allegations that the committee was being selective in its demolition exercise in the state, stressing that all illegal structures around Bauchi Ring road must be demolished despite Saturday night's protest.

Daily Trust reported that there was renewed tension in Jos on Saturday night when officials of the city Task Force Renewal Committee stormed the Yakubu Bala new lay out, situated at the Jos-Bauchi Ring road with bulldozers and caterpillars in continuation of the state government's demolition exercise. The committee officials had met a stiff protest by hundreds of youths from the community which led to the suspension of the exercise.

Chairman of the committee Brigadier General Musa Gambo (rtd) however told Daily Trust on phone that the incident which took place on Saturday night was unfortunate, stressing that the occupants of Yakubu- Bala new lay out community were occupying the lands illegally.

Gambo also said "the land initially belonged to the Naraguta community before the state government acquired it. But government has not yet paid Naraguta their compensation and these people just went there to build houses there. So the Naraguta community complained that the state government acquired their land with no compensation yet allowed other people to build there. The truth is that none of the occupants there have valid papers; there was never an allocation, they are just occupying government land."

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